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Detail from Vermeer's Music Lesson
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

The Age of Elegance

The works in this final section could equally hang with the 'Fine Painters' section earlier, and more generally within the orbit of Gerrit Dou (cats 3 and 4). Godfried Schalcken was Dou's pupil, while Willem van Mieris was the son of another of his pupils – Frans van Mieris (see cat. 12). The two Schalcken interiors here (cats 19 and 20) may be compared with Dou's 'Young Mother' in their depiction of space, light and fine detail; Willem's van Mieris's shopping scene (cat. 14) derives from Dou's treatments of the same subject (cat. 4 for example).

But Godfried Schalcken was 30 years Dou's junior and Willem van Mieris nearly 50; both belong to a younger generation than any other artist in this exhibition. In the later years of the seventeenth century the Dutch merchant class became wealthier and they began to adopt the manners of the French aristocracy. This new elegance can be seen in Ludolf de Jongh's Formal Garden of 1676 (cat. 8) and in all the works in this section.

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